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Mammoth sinkhole appears in Kent just 500 metres from where previous crater opened up

Drone footage of the sink hole has shown the scale of the huge crater, which is causing massive diversions around the local area. Motorists are being warned to expect delays today

The huge crater opened up right in the middle of the A26 - just 500 metres away from where a similar void appeared three years ago
The huge crater opened up right in the middle of the A26 – just 500 metres away from where a similar void appeared three years ago

A mammoth sink hole has opened up on one of the main roads into Kent, causing mayhem.

The huge crater opened up right in the middle of the A26 – just 500 metres away from where a similar void appeared three years ago.

The 5ft by 6ft hole is on the A26 at Barming, one of the main carriageways into Maidstone from the west.

It opened up on Friday, but is still causing headaches for those needing to get into the town centre from places like Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells today.

Motorists are being warned to expect delays in the area and to allow extra time for their journey.








Motorists are being warned to expect delays in the area and to allow extra time for their journey
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Image:

HawkEye Media/Triangle News)



Investigations were carried out as some residents had no water due to a burst water main nearby, but this has now been restored.

One said: “It’s not surprising, but it’s massively annoying. How many times is it going to happen?

“Barming is a ticking time-bomb for stuff like this.”

Steve Benton, head of operations west at South East Water, said: “We’re really sorry for the disruption caused but hope everyone understands the safety of the public and our workforce is our number one priority.

“Although we cannot give an exact date of when the road will be opened again, we hope repairs will begin early next week.”

Drone footage shows the enormity of the hole, with borders covering three roads.

The roads are expected to remain closed for days as crews work to fix the site.




The entrance to Maidstone Hospital is about a mile away from the site.

When the 2018 void opened up, Maidstone Borough Council had to offer temporary accommodation to at least ten evacuated families.

A restaurant owner has also been left fearing for the future of his business, after the last sinkhole cost him £200,000 in revenue.

Kiron Haque, owner of Taj Barming in Maidstone, says his diners have already been cancelling their bookings because of the sink hole.

He has already faced a tough few years because of lockdown and problems caused by a previous flood, and worries that his customer don’t want the hassle of a diversion.

He told Kent Online : “I still joke with my customers since we reopened after lockdown, people in the area are quite sympathetic and know what’s gone on in this site, customers want to know what’s next. I didn’t expect another sinkhole.

“At the moment I have around five bookings cancelled for this evening, which equates to 20 people.”

He added that people don’t want the “hassle of the the diversion and hassle of traffic which goes with that”.


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